I always have some of stallholder Soufiane’s (brand Besaha) Moroccan spice blends in my pantry along with his preserved lemons and ready-to-cook couscous mixes. Soufiane is a lovely quiet, unassuming guy from a small village in Morocco near the Atlas Mountains close to the Sahara. He doesn’t have many products but all are really good. Earlier in this week, wanting an easy dinner I combined a chicken, Moroccan BBQ spice blend and a packet of his couscous mix. The chicken was really moist because I cooked it breast side down.
3-4 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp Besaha Moroccan BBQ blend
Juice of a lemon
1 tsp salt
1 packet Besaha couscous blend
1-2 preserved lemons, flesh discarded, rind chopped
2 tbsps orange blossom water (optional)
Good handful of sliced almonds, toasted
Good handful of pitted dates, roughly chopped
Plenty of chopped coriander
Heat the oven to 180-200°C. Mix the olive oil, Moroccan spice blend, salt and lemon juice in a lidded casserole dish. Add the chicken rolling it around so its coated in the mixture. Cook the chicken breast side down. Cover with the lid and place in the oven for about 45-50 minutes.
While this chicken is in the oven prepare the couscous according to instructions on the packet. Once its ready mix in the dates, orange blossom water if using, chopped preserved lemon and sliced almonds.
Take the chicken out of the oven and add the couscous all around the chicken. Continue cooking it for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. For the last few minutes gently turn the chicken over and remove the lid.
Once the chicken is ready take it out of the dish and leave it to rest breast side down covered for about 5-10 minutes. Add coriander to the couscous and serve.